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Blood test picks up early signs of lung cancer


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Blood test picks up early signs of lung cancer

A blood test for lung cancer is being released commercially across the United States this week.

The makers of the early Cancer Detection lung test (CDT) hope it will help more people survive lung cancer.

Currently sufferers are diagnosed on their symptoms, which means it can often be too late for treatment.

The makers of the new test say it will improve diagnosis of the disease and Australian support groups are campaigning for the test to be available here.

Professor John Robertson of Nottingham University in Britain led the research and says the test identifies defences released by the human body in response to the earliest stages of the cancer.

He and his team are hoping the research could be adapted to diagnose many other common cancers.

"We already have got evidence and research that all sorts of tumours we've looked at... induce immune responses in patients, and so the future will be to identify specific antigens, which are related to that type of cancer," he said.

Each year up to 9,000 Australians are diagnosed with lung cancer, with many dying from the disease within 12 months.

Dr Kwun Fong, chair of the Australian Lung Cancer Foundation, is a chest physician at the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane.

He says anything that can improve detection rates should be welcomed.

"Certainly a simpler blood test, which is minimally invasive, would provide a great improvement on the technologies we have so far," he said.

"This is hopefully going to be like the situation in prostate cancer where there is a reasonably active marker we can use in our clinical judgments."

According to Professor Robertson, the early CDT has a 40 per cent success rate in identifying cancer.

But Dr Fong expressed some caution.

"We need to take them through to the proper clinical trials to show they are effective, safe and cost effective for our patients," he said.

"This does sound very promising. We just have to see the data, which hasn't to my knowledge been published yet."

Cancer Council NSW chief executive Dr Andrew Penman says he is also cautiously optimistic.

"The gold standard test is whether it improves survival," he said.

"The fact it's now in use, in practice in the US gives us an opportunity to demonstrate whether it does its stuff in real life in real people, and if it does I'd be very hopeful we can have it in Australia."

The test was developed over a 15-year period of research and is being released first in the US and then in Britain before potentially becoming available worldwide.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010 ... ion=justin

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I remember about 2 years back when this started to come out !!! Glad its finally done!! Early detection is key in this case!!!

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Early detection would be great - but this test won't be used like mammograms. Non-smoker, in good overall health - no screening. More work to be done. But it's a good start!

This write up in my local paper generated no comments other than mine. Can you imagine the hoopla this would generate if it were a blood test for breast cancer?

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I'm hopeful that this is really what it seems to be. I was really angry when I got pneumonia and my cancer was detected after a complete white-out of my left lung. I'd been doing extensive annual physicals with chest x-ray and complete blood panel for years. One doctor at MDACC even put my June 07 xray up next to my Sep 07 x-ray and said: There is your seemingly perfectly healthy x-ray in Jun with the complete white-out in Sep. They were all amazed. I appears it was a micrometasticism. But what it significant to me now is I'm being radiated like no ones business because I've never shown a tumor. So there is no really significant way to see if my treatments are working without CTs and PETs without waiting for an x-ray to show a pleural effusion--NOT GOOD! If they perfect this blood test, perhaps I can look forward to using it instead of these frequent scans to detect a recurring micrometasticism.

Help, Ned or ts or someone with a better grasp of this thing than I, does this make sense lol.

Judy in KWS

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